Yippee for Mayor-elect Nutter for squeezing a couple of million dollars out of the patronage haven parking authority for the city's public schools.

What better way to get out of the mess of abysmal student performance. That's the knee-jerk response, throw more money at a failed system. The feel-good solution for inept, career politicians. Mr. Nutter's first order of business should have been to find a solution to stop the cultural genocide that is rampant throughout the city in the black neighborhoods.

Mike Franklin

Marlton, N.J.

Spare some change?

As someone who works in Center City where you cannot go one block without being asked for "spare change" I realize that most of these people are drug addicted, mentally ill, or alcoholic. I do not stop to answer any question that they may have or to dig in my pockets for money to give them. I just keep my stride and go about my business.

First of all, I work hard for every dollar I get. So, why do I owe some person who has no ambition to get a job a dime, nickel, or quarter? Call me uncompassionate, heartless, or cold. But I do not have the gene that says I owe anybody anything. I give blood four times a year, I give to the United Way and that is all I will give to. The rest I give to me and those whom I love.

Ajay Jones


I am a Philadelphia police officer assigned to the Central Service Detail. We act as a liaison among the city, the police, and non-profit homeless advocate projects. I need to clarify something written by Fatimah Ali regarding homeless people in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia police do not arrest people for panhandling. It is not illegal to ask for money. Sometimes the behaviors associated with panhandling are illegal (harassment, blocking one's way, threats, etc . . . ) but the act itself is not.

If you see a person arrested who had been panhandling, it is because their actions somehow escalated to a crime or the police found a warrant in the system for that person.

I think it is important to point this out because in Center City the police are called on a daily basis to deal with panhandlers.

Reading this article, one gets the impresion that we can just cuff them up and haul them away.

The Police Department and advocacy groups have built a working relationship over the years in an effort to protect everyone's rights while enforcing the law without singling out any particular class of persons such as the homeless.

It's frustrating enough to not be able to solve this problem, but it's going to be even harder if people think we're just passing the buck.

Mike Franklin

Marlton, N.J.